Borders & Boundaries
BIO50 24th Biennale / Mao Museum Ljubljana
Interactive video project ‘Borders & Boundaries’ by Maureen Bachaus and Jeton Muja.
BIO50 Biennale project ‘Hotel BIO50 }’, Slovenia, november 2014.
Felipe, United Kingdom / Colombia
Photo impression project
Tourism -or traveling- is all about crossing borders, and not necessarily borders of continents, countries, cities, villages or buildings. As already explained in the old mythological stories about traveling to the underworld, borders are not only geographical, but, above all, psychological. By crossing a geographical border the traveler will also be confronted with his own ‘borders’ or boundaries, in particular the limits of his identity. What happens if someone goes beyond his familiar surroundings? He leaves a part of his familiar identity behind, he becomes a stranger, to himself and to others. The new environment confronts the traveler with whom he thinks to be.
During this project, the anonymous and impersonal exhibition space at the MAO museum has served as a symbol for the Biennales 'Nano tourism' theme, the small-scale tourism. A webcam captured the behavior of the visitors: did they enter without hesitation, did they observe the space fearless and filled with curiosity? Or did they remain outside, afraid to cross the border? At predetermined times the space served as an interview room. Visitors of the biennale responded (on video) to the following questions: How did traveling fundamentally change you? What are your best lessons learned? What personal boundaries were you confronted with? Open calls -with the same questions- were posted on the internet. Live Interviews were recorded via Skype, and people from different backgrounds and cultures were invited to make a smartphone video while answering the questions. The video’s have been presented at the MAO museum. Finally, visitors were able to write down their personal thoughts about traveling, borders & boundaries on postcards, which have been assembled to the wall of the exhibition space.
Through this project Maureen Bachaus and Jeton Muja wanted to investigate and question psychological and cultural boundaries, through a direct interaction with the public. The exhibition space was slowly filled with personal thoughts, and during this process, the area transformed from an unfamiliar territory to a personal and intimate space. The project also included a wall-installation, and a lecture at the University in Ljubljana. You can find the entire project and all the video's on: www.bachaus.wix.com/borders
Selected postcards (detail wall installation)